Frank Wright Middle School Profile 2006 - Virtual Library (CA Dept by HC121001172925



 Altona Middle School                                         2010 School Statistics
                                                              Community: Suburban
                                                              Enrollment: 392
                                                              Grade Levels: 6-8
                                                              School Schedule: Traditional

                                                              Student Demographics
                                                                  80%       White
                                                                  10%       Hispanic
                                                                  7%        Asian
                                                                  2%        African American
                                                                  <1%       American Indian (Native American

                                                                 16%         Free/Reduced Lunch
                                                                 9%          English Learners
                                                                 15%         Mobility Rate

                                                              AYP                            % of Targets Met
Designated in 2011;                                           Academic Achievement           Meet --- 93%
Altona Middle School ● St. Vrain Valley School District ●     Academic Growth                Meets ---100%
Boulder County ● Colorado ● Principal Joe Mehsling ●          Academic Growth Gaps           Approaching --- 90%
4600 Clover Basin Drive, Longmont CO ● Phone (720)494-
3980 ● Email
School Web Site:

                   School Characteristics and Replicable Practices
Academic Excellence
       The consistent message of "hardwork" for teachers, parents, and students is repeatedly articulated.
       Rigor is every staff member's goal.
       The Altona Agenda provides clear and consistent guidelines.
       Teachers and students know what the "end in mind" is, as illustrated in Understanding By Design.
       The heart of a daily unit of instruction are the outcomes and the inquiry questions posted for each class
       Common vocabulary is used across disciplines.
       Altona teachers routinely differentiate instruction, thus assessments are differentiated to meet diverse
        needs of their students
       Teachers use their professional judgment to determine the best type of assessment for a specific set of
        standards; however, a variety of assessments are encouraged in each course.
       Essential questions gleaned from the revised state standards are posted daily in every classroom.
       AMPT - AM Peer Tutoring is provided four days a week.
       Homework Club - Students are not allowed to have missing work at Altona. A daily period of time is set
        aside in lieu of Silent Sustained Reading.
Schools to Watch – Colorado Trailblazer                                                           Page 2
Altona Middle School

     Students are supported by three teachers to complete work.Our library is open for an hour every day
      after school. Three adults (teacher, clerk, and instructional para-educator) are available to assist
     Each Tuesday and Thursday are devoted to reteaching/relooping days during the Silent Sustained
      Reading period.
     Our Professional Development time is sacred. Very little time is spent during meetings covering
      administrivia that is easily disseminated through emails.
     Monthly meetings devote the majority of time to teacher led and designed core articulation.
     Aside from the whole-school Professional Study Team offered each summer, many other teachers
      facilitate their own content-specific Professional Study Teams.

Developmental Responsiveness
     Altona's At-Risk Team meets weekly to discuss holistic data, which in tum focuses our limited
      resources on individual student support.
     Students know they can ask any adult for help or assistance.
      All 6th graders participate in WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) throughout the year
     The Altona community fonnally and infonnally helps students in crisis. For example, holiday present
      donations, food baskets, coat drives, etc.
     Altona counselors are trained and able to help families seek and obtain assistance beyond the school
     The School Resource Officer teaches D.A.R.E. to every 7th grade student.
     Every Altona Agenda (see attachment 3) has inquiry questions taken directly from the revised state
      standards to seek deeper understandings.
     Technology is embedded through most classroom activities. For example, Altona faculty uses wikis,
      blogs, interactive whiteboards, student response clickers and web page creation in lessons across
     Teachers explicitly state what students are doing that day and why it is important within the context of
      that day's instruction.
     The relevance and application section of the revised state standards are our guidelines in this area.
     Literacy and Numeracy are the school's focus.
     At Altona, students are expected to use these crucial skills to enhance learning in all classes. Altona is
      focused on "the learn to read, read to learn transition".
     Altona places greater emphasis on vertical core articulation rather than horizontal core articulation.
      However, when appropriate, crosscurricular connections are made
     Altona's overriding objective is to prepare students for the high school experience.
     The Altona counseling department is working with College in Colorado to ensure every student and
      their families understand the potential of higher education.
     All students are encouraged to explore a variety of opportunities offered at Altona.
     Altona is a LEAD (Leadership through Enrichment and Academic Achievement - see attachment 4)
     Students set many agendas throughout the three LEAD programs to lead and engage other students.
     Student opinions are valid and questions are treated with respect.
     Proactive communication is practiced at Altona Middle School.
     Altona's website is comprehensive and routinely updated.
     Altona sends out a weekly update via email rather than a traditional monthly or quarterly newsletter.
     Parents, students and other teachers can check grades and classroom activities on a regular basis.
     Teachers contact parents well before problems spiral out of control to develop a plan for success.

Social Equity
     Three different Tier II Rtl systems are in place: Morning Peer Tutoring, Lunchtime Homework Club and
      After School·Math Tutoring.
     Many teachers have specific times set aside for extra help (before or after school).
     All students are propelled forward rather than pushed or held back.
     Intensive interventions include Read 180, Systems 44, FasttMath, Lind Mood Bell, ELL classes and
      Resource Classes.
     Tuesdays and Thursdays are devoted to reteaching in lieu of Silent Sustained Reading
     Accelerated Reader is implemented during Silent Sustained Reading; students are assigned goals
      based on their individual reading levels
     Teachers use their professional judgment and individual creativity to determine how and when a
      student has mastered a skill or topic.
     Altona provides a systemic reteaching/relooping process every Tuesday and Thursday during Silent
      Sustained Reading.
     The newly adopted Science and Social Studies curriculum incorporates creative activities daily.
     The Altona staff is constantly learning by participating in Professional Study Teams, book talks and
      independent study sessions along with seeking out opportunities for life-long learning.
     The driving force for the continual improvement process is rooted in internal factors and decision
      making process as developed by the Leadership Team, as well as changing exterior forces (district
      curriculum maps & revised state standards).
     Every adult in the building sets the example as a life-long learner.
     Altona offers a number of Accelerated and Advanced classes. However, "tracking" does not exist.
      Students are able to jump the track based on performance data.
     A holistic view determines entry into Accelerated and Advanced classes. The big picture is examined
      and students are never barred entry based on one particular data point.
     Altona Special Education, ELL and Literacy teachers work with general education teachers to ensure
      students are placed in the least restrictive environment possible.
     Altona's systemic structure is a tiered approach: Math and Language Arts teachers have the lightest
      student loads, Social Studies and Science teachers the next highest and Enrichment teachers see all
     The building At-Risk Team constantly reviews data and individualizes plans for success.
     Altona's suspension rate is less than 1%.

Organizational Support
     Altona's mission is consistent and comes to the fore of every discussion.
     Literacy and Numeracy are the foundation; student preparation for high school is our foremost
     Altona's principal has a laser focus on student achievement as related to the school's vision and
     All decisions relating to the functioning of the school return to the stated mission.
     The Leadership Team is committed to the mission and ensures other tasks do not interfere with the
      Altona's mission.
     The Altona staff researches current best practices to continually refine our system.
     Understanding by Design is one of our foundational readings.
     Teach like a Champion is our current year's reading.
     60% ofthe licensed professionals have attended Adaptive Schools training.
     Professional Development is provided and paid by the school budget
     Over 75% of the staff has participated in four annual summer Professional Study Teams.
     Professional Study Teams lay the groundwork for the following year.
      Our work builds upon each year's prior work, thus sustaining the mission
      Student performance and results are at the center of all actions and decisions.
      Data, not "anecdotal evidence," permeates every facet of Altona.
      Individual accountability for student achievement is the norm.
      Every teacher at Altona is devoted to their student's results.
      The At-Risk team (Principal, Assistant-Principal, Building Team Leader, Counselors, ELL/Literacy
       Teacher) meets every week to ask what can be done to help close the achievement gap at the building,
       grade and individual level.

Rev. May 2011

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